With 2017’s “Dear Desolation” album, Thy Art is Murder made me a fan, and that September I interviewed vocalist CJ McMahon at The Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY. Now, almost exactly 2 years later, I am reviewing their new, devastatingly heavy album, “Human Target” out since July 26th via Nuclear Blast Records.
I remember listening to Dear Desolation, and being completely absorbed by it. The guitars, the drumming, and CJ’s powerful growls were all in, what I thought was, peak form. Upon listening to “Human Target”, I find that it is considerably better, finding the band lessening the deathcore vibes in favor of a more straight up death metal sound.
The first single from the record, and its opener, “Human Target”, sets about the business of crushing heads. The intro is all Deathcore, and CJ sounds possessed by Satan himself, as his vocals are absolutely incredible!!! Focusing on those vocals will show that CJ really does have an expressive voice, one with many nuances that slip by if you really listen to the band as a sum of its parts, and not individually. This is 3 minutes and 30 seconds of pure, unadulterated heaviness!!
“New Gods” is death metal mastery, with only the slightest hint of death-core involved. Personally, I hope that TAIM continues to write music that’s in this vein. It is so heavy, brutally so, and doesn’t sound like their deathcore peers quite as much as before. Everything about “New Gods” crushes, lyrics, music, presentation, performances, the whole 9;it’s one of my favorites on “Human Target”.
CJ is known for his confrontational lyrics, with whole albums, “Holy War”, against religion, and songs that point out the corruption of politics, like “Let’s Make America Hate Again”. It’s painfully obvious, judging by the title. The music is exactly what you’d expect, very heavy, matching the lyrics in intensity. “Your leaders are now you’re enemies! Let’s make America hate again!”
My top pick is called “Eternal Suffering”, with its blast beats, Black Metal elements, and deathcore power. There’s also a great deal of diversity, which adds dynamics that aren’t always as present as they on this track. The Death Metal feel is still present, but this is a Deathcore song overall; a very good one at that.
“Voyeurs of Death” is another standout track. There’s more than a few killer guitar parts, and a nice blending of Deathcore and Death Metal to be heard. As per their norm, this is a blistering track with all the elements that fans, new or old, have come to expect from this Aussie powerhouse.
Thy Art is Murder gets a lot of flack for sounding the same from album to album, even from song to song on those albums. Personally, I find them to be light years ahead of bands like Suicide Silence; had Mitch not died this could be debatable. TAIM obviously have a stock sound, but that’s how bands keep their identity, and there is evolution to be heard; particularly on “Dear Desolation”, and now on “Human Target”; which has been out since July. Enjoy!!
Edited by: Zee Ismail